From the splendor of Mahabharat to the starkness of Samyama. Both eight-day programs in the Adiyogi Alayam, but of totally different natures. From vibrant saris and maharaja attire, to bare whites. From dancing through the night to people working through their animal nature. And of course, the food. No one forgets the food at Samyama. At Mahabharat, we had a variety of flavors and foods, 15-course meals, but here in Samyama, only three courses – kanji, kanji and kanji.
But these 1,370 diehards are moving fabulously from the chaos of the body to absolute stillness within. And this is the first Samyama in the Adiyogi Alayam after so many years of having the program in Spanda Hall. About the same number of people in a space that is 2-½ times the size. And in terms of experience, what participants are going through, the difference is palpable.
The word “spanda” literally means “primal” or “primordial.” Essentially, Spanda Hall was made for Bhava Spandana and Samyama programs – more for Bhava Spandana than Samyama. It is like a melting pot, things happen very easily. Bhava Spandana programs happen especially easily in Spanda Hall because of the nature of that consecration. If Bhava Spandana teachers teach somewhere else, they can clearly see the difference. It melts things down very easily, and it is built in a certain alignment with the Dhyanalinga and Linga Bhairavi, which have a certain kind of impact.
The Adiyogi Alayam is of a different nature. What it does and the way it is calibrated are manifold. It is more functional because it is essentially structured for the science of yoga, so it includes everything. The science of yoga essentially means this: even a little baby, if you pinch him, he will cry because he can feel his body. But he may not be able to feel his thoughts and emotions to start with; he can just feel his body. So the body is the first thing that he feels. The journey of yoga is to take you from the body, to different dimensions of who you are, to the ultimate core. In that sense, He is hugely equipped. We have not consecrated any other space like this; it explores the yogic dimension in a certain way.
If you sit in the Adiyogi Alayam and start observing the nature of your body, you will see – He will take you on and take you faster and further than you imagined possible. If we do Hata Yoga or any kind of meditative process here, anything with eyes closed which involves a certain exploration, it will happen phenomenally well. It may not be the best place to do Bhava Spandana because it brings too much balance – we want a little madness out there. If people are not a little crazy, Bhava Spandana will not succeed. Yes, we want them to fly-off a little bit before they come down. Not that Bhava Spanda cannot be done here too; it would also be assisted because there is a yogic dimension to it. But the Adiyogi Alayam is more exploratory in nature, more driving towards the inner core rather than exuberance.
In fact, if you walk into Spanda Hall, it may feel more exuberant. But if you sit in the Adiyogi Alayam, this will slowly sink into you. It is like this: if you go into Dhyanalinga, if you are not prepared enough, you may look around and just see one rock standing there. You don’t know anything. But if you go into Linga Bhairavi, you feel it because it is exuberant. The Adiyogi Alayam is simply still. It takes a lot more to feel the stillness than to feel the exuberance. Exuberance is easy because it is happening; stillness you have to look for, otherwise you will miss it.
So… the Adiyogi Alayam is explorative in nature. If you take one step and explore, He will take you one step further. That is like, if you earn 100 rupees, he will give you 100 rupees bonus. Good deal, isn’t it?
Mystic’s Musings is a compilation of extracts from Sadhguru’s discourses and talks.
My Ride of a Lifetime: Samyama
I just attended my third Samyama this past February after Mahashivratri and I am finally writing about my experiences. However, I can only truly convey how Samyama affected me by relating how my journey of sorts led me to Isha and of course to my Guru.
“Feel anger, but eliminate the actions that come with the anger.” This is a quote from Sadhguru given at a Sathsang in Michigan, USA some time several years ago and I still recall it, due to the fact that it directly relates to me and my own trials and tribulations over the years. I have dealt with anger in many of its forms my entire life. I came from a family of serious yellers and thus I became a yeller and a screamer myself. In addition, I am an attorney, thus anger honed in just the “right” way can be quite beneficial in carrying a useless “legal” argument across. As an attorney and just as being myself, I questioned everything, including Sadhguru. Through my cynical view of the world, my anger was fostered and flourished openly. In basic terms – no one crossed me or there’d be trouble. Well, I was lucky enough that Sadhguru crossed me because he brought a whole mess of trouble my way.
I took his seven day Isha Yoga Program in the USA in April of 2004 along with my husband and it has been a long, tedious, yet crazy and beautiful journey for me in the past five years. After the program, I really didn’t take care of my cow all that well. I basically gave up on the practices two weeks after the program. Although he touched me during that program, I just wasn’t willing or really, desperate enough to do as he instructed. It really took distressed times for me to turn to my practices to lift me from my own depths of desolation. Yet, even after I was lifted through his kriyas, I was still so doubtful of everything that had to do with him. I really had no gratitude or insight about anything in my life and that included Sadhguru.
I had taken the Bhava Spandana Program in November of 2004 with Sadhguru and it was . . . interesting – not mind-blowing like a lot of people describe it to be, but it certainly “turned” me. My first Samyama was in 2005 and quite honestly, I didn’t prepare for it at all. I had a lot of issues and excuses – good ones of course, but in the end, I wasn’t ready for my first Samyama and it depressed me. My first Samyama was like my BSP, just stronger in every way. I had spoken to my cousin who had also taken the program and she said she had felt her kundalini when all I had felt was my aching throat and knees. Thus, the effects of my first Samyama were not immediate, but rather unfolded sweetly. Over the coming weeks, I began seeing and feeling things in a more intense way and I suddenly began to realize that my anger was slowly, very slowly and subtly dulling. It was as if nothing mattered, yet everything mattered. I no longer wanted to become unattached, but to be completely attached with everything and everyone. This feeling was so new, so sweet, yet so uprooting for me. I mean, I am a self-serving individual with anger issues and now my personality was delicately changing and it scared me because I felt I wasn’t really doing anything to become this way – someone else had done it for me and he was and is a walking human being with the energy of a “God,” or so I thought and still believe. However, alas, I once again did not keep up with my Samyama practices as instructed by him. None of the good things that were happening in my life because of him encouraged me to truly listen and follow what he had to say. I was stuck in my old ways, stuck in my brain, wanting things I thought would make me fulfilled and happy when I did not have a clue what those things really were – but he did.
Then Sadhguru invited me to do sadhana at Isha Institute of Inner-sciences (iii) during the summer. That summer was an intense rehab for my soul. For the very first time – it was through iii and the people that lived there – I learned true dedication, true gratitude and true selflessness. The intensity of my feelings was so great, I began to see Sadhguru in everyone there. It wasn’t just seeing him in all of these people, it was feeling his energy and then looking in the mirror and realizing he is in me as well and that I was beginning to love these people as an extension of me. It was that one summer that led me to my third Samyama.
Preparation for my third Samyama was quite different from the first two. Still, ever the lazy little human that I am, I waited until the fortieth day prior to Samyama to begin preparation, but something took hold in me. Towards the end of the forty days, approaching my leave to the Isha Ashram in India, I was even getting along with my mother-in-law, like a house on fire. Thus, by the time I left on the plane to my final destination, I was ready and willing to be with Samyama and to take it back with me to the USA thereafter.
Once again, my Samyama was not mind-blowing, but it was incredible in every way. This time, Sadhguru literally held our hands as if we were his children, through every process. I felt like a little baby, being told what to do and at the same time, completely taken care of by all the volunteers and by Sadhguru himself. I had no privacy whatsoever and at every point, my day was planned from the food I ate, the breaks I had and the times I would use the bathroom, but again it did not matter. The only thing that mattered was Samyama and it was when I came to that realization that I gave myself completely to it. It had taken me two other Samyamas and a whole lot of mental trouble to get here, but I was here and I enjoyed ever tedious yet elating moment.
Now, hopefully this will not be my last Samyama, for I plan to return if he lets me, every year until I pass. I am on his proverbial bus and I’m not giving my seat up for anything and luckily he has made plenty of seats available for anyone willing enough to enjoy his ride.